By on May 5, 2017

2018_toyota_tundra_trd_sport_01_8ee19ebe1c41ad354b59edf3a42fdf0bac4ded48

As automakers dial back sales projections in a year that’s seen a rough start, the industry could be holding out hope for a legislative solution to lagging demand.

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz made this claim during the opening of the company’s expanded Ann Arbor research and design center on Thursday, adding that incentivizing new vehicles to draw down bulging inventories can’t continue forever. In his view, automakers are keeping extra vehicles on hand for a reason, not just because production hasn’t adjusted for slow sales.

Lentz, like other auto executives, is hoping for a sales bump in the event the Trump administration green-lights its proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

The administration, which released its tax plan on April 26, is said to be readying a massive infrastucture plan — possibly fueled by an increase to the federal gas tax, which Trump has said he might support on the condition the money flows to highways. Details of the plan are coming “pretty soon,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told CNBC on Monday.

Trump reportedly wants the proposal in front of Congress as soon as possible. According to Lentz, automakers want the same thing.

“If you get a $1 trillion stimulus, that could add 800,000 units,” Lentz said. “That’s one reason everyone is on the accelerator” trying to unload vehicles.

April auto sales in the U.S. fell nearly 5 percent, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. This follows a record year in which U.S. consumers snapped up 17.55 million new vehicles. For 2017, Lentz said he forecasts sales in the 17 to 17.2 million range.

While a boost to infrastructure spending could turn the tide on light-vehicles sales, Lentz knows automakers can’t keep up the current pace forever. Before long, manufacturers will be forced to decide “when is it prudent to lift off the accelerator,” he said, adding that the current level of incentives isn’t sustainable.

[Source: Reuters] [Image: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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69 Comments on “Auto Industry Has Its Fingers Crossed for Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: Toyota Exec...”


  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Trump is to busy celebrating a possible $900,000,000 tax break for 0.01 of the population while screwing 30% of the population with pre-existing medical conditions to care about this $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The new Toyotathon will have a to wait a few months.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Nothing has been signed into law. Nothing has changed. Everything is still the same. No one with pre-existing conditions is threatened to lose any coverage.

      On 1 Oct 2017 that probably will change as more and more Health Insurance plans are pulling out of the individual market.

      But who didn’t see this coming? After all, who said that “we have to pass this bill so we can find out what’s in it?”

      Now we all know. And it only works for the indigent.

      And Trumpcare is far from being enacted into law. Very, very far.

      Alarmists! Jeeeeeeez.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        There is a tradition that Jefferson coming home from France, called Washington to account at the breakfast-table for having agreed to a second, and, as Jefferson thought, unnecessary legislative Chamber.

        “Why,” asked Washington, “did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer, before drinking?”

        “To cool it,” answered Jefferson, “my throat is not made of brass.”

        “Even so,” rejoined Washington, “we pour our legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.”

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          And sometimes it gets downright frosty.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That health care “plan” (quotation marks intentional) fails hard in the Senate.

            You heard it here first.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I think most people know this already, because several GOP Senators have already said they would vote against it since it is not a clean repeal.

            The small-business guys I know are having a hell-of-a-time providing affordable healthcare for themselves and their families.

            NONE provide healthcare for their employees. Don’t have to. Not enough employees.

          • 0 avatar
            VW4motion

            Totally agree, this will not pass in the Senate. They are the adults of these two groups. But, to have a beer party to celebrate almost a trillion dollars in tax breaks for less than 1% of the population while 30% of the country could lose their healthcare insurance, is just disgusting. I’d hate to see Trump working against the little guy/average American.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I’d hate to see Trump working against the little guy/average American.”

            Those are actually the voters who put him into office.

            Trump claims to be their voice, the voice of the long-forgotten, hard-working, little guy/average Americans.

            Interesting times! I even met some Americans living in Mexico who are considering moving back to America now that Trump is at the helm.

            This is the diversity America craved. The stratification of society by wealth.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “I think most people know this already, because several GOP Senators have already said they would vote against it since it is not a clean repeal.”

            All due respect, that’s bulls**t. What they’re worried about is getting tossed out on their butts in 2018.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, There are at least three GOP Senators who said they would vote against it, IIRC Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins.

            Those three have never been in Trump’s pocket.

            Ultimately, we’ll see. They’re still a long way from taking a vote on this healthcare amendment.

            I believe I heard McConnell say it would be December 2017, in any case before the new year.

            BTW, I’m against this bill because it is NOT a repeal. It’s an amendment.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I will likely regret asking this but…

            @HDC – Do you believe we simply ought to let those who cannot afford health insurance die? Have you signed up for Medicare?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Do you believe we simply ought to let those who cannot afford health insurance die? ”

            Of course not. Health insurance is not affordable if you have to pay for it out of your own pocket.

            You get yours from the State because you’re a State employee as a teacher. But small business people have to pay for it all out of their own pockets.

            I think the answer is insurance pools similar to what the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program is, and also similar to what the Congressional employees have.

            As a business, we were covered under a Group policy from BlueShield/BlueCross and it was terrific before the ACA was enacted.

            IIRC, the monthly bill for everyone that the business provided coverage for, was like $4200 a month.

            Then, the ACA happened and coverages were mandated and the premiums for the business jumped up to ~$6700 a month.

            IOW, way too expensive for coverages we did not want or need.

            I’m pretty well covered by Medicare, TriCare for Life, VA out of Albuquerque, and the military clinics in my area.

            Medicare costs me $115 a month, and if I need care I always have to ask first, “Is Medicare going to pay for this, or do I have to take it somewhere else?”

            I hope you didn’t regret asking.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The answer is single payer. It a) covers poor folks, b) takes the onus off businesses to pay for health insurance (on my last paycheck, for example, it showed a $110 biweekly deduction for me, and $250 for my employer), and c) will be an absolute godsend to small businesses and the self employed.

            There’s also this: health insurance doesn’t just benefit the patient – it benefits the provider as well. My girlfriend works in a big hospital, and as you say, you get care regardless of ability to pay. If they wheel in a homeless guy who’s having a heart attack, they have to treat him. But unless he can pay, or he has insurance, everyone involved is giving away care.

            That’s a titanic screw job, if you ask me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, Medicare, Medicaid, TriCare, VA, IHS, PHS are all part of the government Single Payer system.

            And many doctors choose not to accept them.

            Or, if forced by the government to accept payment at substandard rates, they simply close their doors and move to Old Mexico or some other country.

            In MY area, we lost several doctors and specialist when the ACA was enacted.

            We live in a rural area. We’re hurting for medical care.

            If not for my retired-military status, we would be SOL for much of our care.

            But everyone gets ER access in NM, because it is the Law! Property owners and the Fed gov’t pick up the tab. Even for illegals.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @HDC

            Well at least you didn’t come off sounding like Ebeneezer Scrooge prior to his visit by 3 spirits (which was what I feared.)

            Yes I am part of the New Mexico Public School Insurance Authority (I’m a principal, not a teacher) and the premium increases caused me to switch from “high option” BCBS to “low option”. The amount that I and my employer pay for health insurance per year is simply ludicrous. But I don’t see how anything the Republican Party has done since Nixon was ready to go single payer has done one bit to cover more people and lower costs.

            At least the Democrats could say they covered more people.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            PrincipalDan, “sounding like Ebeneezer Scrooge prior to his visit by 3 spirits” is usually driven by someone’s misguided criticism of something I wrote, implying that I didn’t put any thought into what I committed to digital ink.

            There’s also a difference between who I find “reply-worthy”, and who is not.

            I’m very familiar with your situation. I have friends who taught/coached in the Zuni/Thereaux school system, one who retired from there and went on to teach in Las Vegas, NV, another who left there and went on to teach in SLC, and yet another who left there and got married and now teaches in Reno, NV.

            You’re in a good system and your healthcare coverage is better than most.

            I don’t think that the GOP will be able to do a full repeal&replace. I’ll be surprised if it even makes it through the Senate.

            If the Senate makes changes and sends it back to the House, the Freedom Caucus will bail on it. Only two of them signed on to pass it — they’ll pull the D-ring if changes to what they agreed to are made.

            In fact, if the GOP fails, they are no further ahead, nor are they behind where they were when they got started on Jan 20.

            I think the GOP should just let the ACA die on its own accord. And it will.

            There’s only so much money the insurance companies will want to lose before they all pull out.

            The GOP has zero responsibility to save it since this was a ‘crat venture without any input from the GOP members.

            I say “let it die.”

            I think that Trump’s desire to bring relief to those oppressed by the ACA is genuine, but there is only so much he can do.

            But if it can’t be done, it can’t be done, and no one will blame Trump or the GOP if the ACA healthcare plan collapses.

            We waited to see what was in it, the ‘crats passed it, and now we all know how it failed.

            BTW, I also think that the whole rewrite of the tax code is unattainable. Another wonderful idea rooted in optimism and well-meaning, but not doable.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I don’t blame HDC for not being worried.

        #emptypotus has a pretty good track record when it comes to getting HUGE legislation passed.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Wow! nine-hundred-million dollars! The federal government spends $958 million EVERY DAY. The trillion dollar infrastructure plan will be spread over 20-30 years, or $33-$50 billion a YEAR, or at most 52 days worth of spending, on something we use and need.

      The REAL problem is that $1 trillion will be barely enough for deficient bridges alone, while the oldest concrete lanes on the interstate system, about 100,000 lane miles, are nearly 60 years old and will have to be replaced over the next decade, at about $3 million per lane-mile, and the rest over the next 20 years after, at inflation-added prices. We actually need to spend $3-$4 trillion to make up for decades of neglect and kicking the can down the road.

      You can talk all you want about tax cuts “for the rich”, but the federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem, and it’s about time the government spent OUR tax money on things we can see and actually use.

      BTW, the net worth of ALL America’s billionaires is about $3.2 trillion. The federal budget is $3.5 trillion. You could take all their money – not income but NET WORTH – and it wouldn’t pay for one year of federal spending. The government gets almost all its “revenue” from the millions who are not rich.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I guess you could argue if anything the decrepit state of a lot of our infrastructure is driving consumers into more profitable truck-based platforms.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree. It remains to be seen whether the Trump-effect will be a positive, a negative, or an indifferent one on the US economy and infrastructure.

      But one thing for certain, Trump is going to have a major effect on the US and global auto industry, for those selling in the US.

      I, for one, think that it is way past due to have a little attention paid to the US infrastructure, and I would support a tax hike on gasoline and diesel to support that. We have so much in natural resources that we will flood the planet with our dino-products and the price at the pump will plummet. It’s downright cheap now.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    This infrastructure improvement point was the one thing during the campaigns that I thought was something truly needed.

    But, historically, very few in the House (of either party) have been willing to vote in favor of a specific bill for raising the gas tax. Maybe if it’s part of a larger bill or budget,I could see it.

    Anyway, if this actually happens (and I’m not sure it will), just tie the tax to inflation, and be done with it.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The ‘crats should be on-board for a gas tax increase. It should stimulate sales of EVs and Hybrids, long a pillar in their green agenda.

      It’s the abundance of oil and gas that justifies the gas tax increase. In real terms, the price of gas today is dirt, dirt cheap. Almost as cheap as it was during the ’50s and ’60s.

      A dollar today buys as mush as a dime did in the ’50s and ’60s. I was there. My dimes went a long, long way back then.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        I’m actually thinking that the members of the house who are fiscally conservative to the point of austerity would be the ones to vote against this.

        Especially if they see a strong challenge to their seat at mid-terms.

        Although the Republican Party currently holds majorities in both the House and Senate, and I have not gotten a strong sense that they all on board with Mr. Trump.

        But beyond that, I’m not sure its who the President is that matters. I think the euphemism “all politics is local’ is mostly true. If voting for something has a chance of being unpopular enough in their district to affect their re-election, then they are a lot less likely to vote for it. They all like the lifestyle (and lobbyist money) more than they like or dislike a sitting President.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I think you’re right on all counts.

          Trump is not going to accomplish much beyond a few short-term EOs because he is having to fight the GOP, the ‘crats AND the Fake News Media.

          Trump’s legacy after four or eight years is going to be about the same as the last guy’s, which is to say ‘nada’ or ‘nothing’ on Cinco de Mayo.

          But for many in the US, it’s good while it lasts. That’s why they voted for him, to give them a break from the Leftie-libby agenda.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          newenthusiast, the important point about reelection is most congressmen face a greater danger of losing a primary election than a general election, but a significant minority could lose in the general. Republicans who face a primary challenge on the right want to vote on completely zeroing out Obamacare. Republicans who face a general election challenge from the center or left don’t want this vote. The compromise they agreed to is a bill that would allow states to request waivers from ACA Essential Benefits combined with eliminating the tax/penalty for not buying the insurance with the expensive Essential Benefits. It potentially allows Red States to get out from under Obamacare relatively fast while allowing the rest of the country to make adjustments more slowly.

          Any state that wants to spend more money on highways has the ability to increase state excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” the important point about reelection is ”

            turnout.

          • 0 avatar
            newenthusiast

            Well, that’s all well and good, but no one is arguing that states can’t raise their own gas taxes.

            I assumed that this story is about federal appropriations for the interstate and US highway systems (which state and local governments can also share financial responsibility for), as well as some funding for things like certain rail lines, bridges, airports, and shipping ports that the Feds might deem have a significant economic impact.

            Even when the House was less partisan, not even Democrats were willing to try to increase gas taxes once in the last 24 years, so I’m skeptical that the often more fiscally conservative Republicans will be willing to do it.

            Since it appears that any infrastructure proposals are looking like they are going to be handled as a seperate piece of legislation, what does it have to do with any healthcare bills that may or may not be passed?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “no one is arguing that states can’t raise their own gas taxes. ”

            True. That’s why CA has the highest cost of gas per gallon in the nation. Taxes!

            That’s why many people in Blythe and Winterhaven drive across the border into AZ and fill up for a dollar less per gallon than in CA.

            Even more pronounced along the southern border with Old Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            highdesertcat – a new study shows that turnout isn’t as big a factor as what they first thought. It does play into the equation but the problem was more related to the fact that the Democrats were unable to address the concerns of the “deplorables”.
            Parties tend to retain their core supporters regardless of who is running. There is always a group that will switch allegiance based on the effectiveness of the political message.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC, we have to disagree on that one because the turnout for old Hillary was better by several million voters.

            By the popular vote Hillary won hands down.

            Turnout was all important AND the deciding factor of who won the number of votes.

            It was that pesky electoral college, for US citizens “that great equalizer of all States”, that caused candidate Trump to be Mr. President.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            HDC- the shift in turn out killed Hilary. One could look at jerrymandering too but Hilary failed to shift the voters that mattered.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        “True. That’s why CA has the highest cost of gas per gallon in the nation. Taxes!”

        That’s not entirely accurate.

        Pennsylvania has the highest state gas taxes in the US at 68.7 cents per gallon.

        California’s retail prices are higher though because of an additional factor: artificially constrained supply.

        Unless the law has changed, when I lived there, stations could only sell gas that was refined in state or at a CARB certified refinery. It’s a closed distribution system. I think they have 14 in state, and have agreements with one in Washington State and in the Gulf Coast to produce CARB compliant gas and diesel. This is unlike many other areas of the country, where retailers can work with different wholesalers as they see fit, as long at the gas meets any state requirements before additives (some states require ethanol now, etc).

        Whenever a refinery has to go off line for those winter/summer blend switchovers, its even MORE compounded in California.

        It COULD be cheaper there if they would get more refineries on board. I would think they would want to sell their product to the biggest auto market in the country. It might drive prices down somewhat.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          newenthusiast, there is a difference between “cost of gas per gallon” and “highest state gas taxes in the US”.

          To verify the actual cost per gallon of gas, go to gasbuddy.com and compare.

          I think gasoline on the East coast costs less than on the West coast because of pipeline transportation in the East, and tanker-truck deliveries in the West (because the West is Earthquake country.)

          • 0 avatar
            newenthusiast

            I didn’t conflate the two, nor did I disagree that California’s retail price is higher.

            You stated that it was because of taxes.

            All I am saying is that its not SOLELY because of taxes, but also because of California’s rules eliminating outside refineries from selling CARB compliant gas in the state unless they go through the expensive, time consuming CARB certification process.

            This limits supply, also driving prices upward.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Agreed. It is a combination of factors.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “A dollar today buys as mush as a dime did in the ’50s”

        That is factually correct but one needs to post one’s wages then and now to show it as being an actual deterioration.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My bet is that it won’t be a tax at all, newenthusiast. The GOP base will go all torches and pitchforks over that.

      It’ll be some kind of privatizing scheme, most likely.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        You mean what, making every thing into toll roads?

        That would also be torch and pitchfork inducing. And likely more expensive for drivers than a gas tax increase, no?

        Adjusted for inflation, to get the same buying power of the gas tax to the level it was in 1993, when it was last raised, it needs to be about .30/gal today, an increase of 11.5 cents per gallon. That seems like a reasonable course of action to me. It would raise total tax on the avg tank of gas from about $3 to about $5 (roughly).

        That is FAR cheaper than using tolls in my experience.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          “You mean what, making every thing into toll roads?”

          Texas is doing just that and doesn’t seem to be facing too much of a backlash. Everywhere I went in Dallas there seemed to be an option to travel on a “pay” section of highway.

          • 0 avatar
            newenthusiast

            But those are still in the minority, right? There are other roads to get you to a destination?

            Also, don’t the toll roads in Texas have higher speed limits as a trade-off?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’ve driven on TX toll-road. It’s just like the KS Turnpike. Similar charges, like a couple of bucks depending on distance. 85mph speed limit, most go faster.

            Oh, but it is soooo much faster than the secondary roads.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Texas is doing just that and doesn’t seem to be facing too much of a backlash. ”

            A) That’s Texas.
            B) I have no idea how much their toll roads cost, but here, if you want to ride one from my end of town to the airport, you’re looking at $14 or so, round trip.

            The toll roads here in Colorado (E-470 around Denver, US 36 between Denver and Boulder) are controlled by corporations. Pricing is at the whim of the corporation.

            Oh, and yeah, the corporation that runs US 36 is not domestic.

            F**king ripoff.

            But, hey, the politicians can say they didn’t raise anyone’s taxes, right? Maybe that plays in a heavy duty red state like Texas. It doesn’t play so well in a place like Colorado.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “You mean what, making every thing into toll roads?”

          Spend a trillion to build new roads then charge the users.

          Makes perfect sense from a 0.1% point of view.

          I’ve never seen a Gulf Stream jet on a highway.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree we do need to fix and expand our infrastructure. I don’t mind paying more in fuel tax if the increase is designated only for fixing, replacing, and building new roads and bridges. This would significantly expand employment and the economy.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Back in the late 90s when I was a subscriber to 4wheel and Off-road Magazine I recall that one of their advertisers (Dick Cepek or Skyjacker Suspensions or Mickey Thompson or somebody) would run ads showing a modified 4×4 hauling across a two track wasteland with the tagline “Paved Roads: Another Example of Wasteful Government Spending”.

    I’m starting to think that it became public policy in the last 20 years.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Lol, yes Trump is going to fix everything. Based on how things have gone so far its hard to imagine what kind of infrastructure bill would pass.

    In the meantime, the market has peaked. Interest rates will continue to go up, and lenders will pull back. You are going to start to see a lot of leased models flood the dealers so I don’t anticipate sales going up.

    This is as good as its going to get folks so if you can’t get your sh!t together now then good luck during the next phase of the business cycle (oh heeeey FCA!)

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” Trump is going to fix everything” He’s not going to get much done during the time he’s in office.

      Trump has to fight his own GOP, the ‘crats AND the Fake News Leftie-Libby Media.

      But for the folks who voted for Trump, even this short (4 or 8 year) respite from the Leftie-Libby agenda is a Godsend.

      So during his time in office, Trump will have an affect on the US auto industry and I hope that he will roll back all that CAFE, mpg and emissions nonsense that overly burdens the automakers and the buying public.

      I like to see more V8s. I was never one for squirrel engines, even if they were based on Lotus screaming-fart [email protected] rpm race engines.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Prediction. 50 to 90 percent of additional taxes will be wasted. Just like all the current taxes. I have gone on record before saying I would support higher gas taxes if only the additional taxes along with the current gas taxes were safe from the criminal hands of politicians of all stripes. But history is replete with politicians paying off their supporters by funding pet projects with taxes that were supposed to fill pot holes. I live in tax happy NY. The roads here are pathetic and getting worse. But the big agenda item for our state legislature this week was banning the declawing of cats!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “50 to 90 percent of additional taxes will be wasted.”

      They always are.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      But if the state legislature said they were raising taxes to fix the awful roads, what would the state’s reaction be?

      Two words:
      1) Hell
      2) No

      And it always is, even in “tax happy” states. Ditto here in Colorado, which is in DESPERATE need of more highways, particularly in the Denver area.

      People want their tax-supported stuff (roads, schools, cops, firefighters, and on and on) but they don’t want to pay for it. And then they blame the government when that stuff fails.

      And we wonder how Steve “Burn The House Down” Bannon made his bones politically. It’s not mysterious.

      • 0 avatar
        a5ehren

        Georgia of all places passed a gas tax increase last year, with no serious blowback.

        It can be done if they take the time to sell it first.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        People often have unreasonable expectations.

        Like when Californians cash out in CA and move to the wide-open spaces of AZ, NM, NV and TX.

        When they get to those destinations they expect public services like they had in their former domicile.

        The first thing they usually utter is, “Where’s a cop when you need one?”

        I am so sick of the CA and East Coast nuveau-riche who move to our area and drive up the taxes on property owners. That and sanctuary state status that has property owners picking up the hospital losses from illegals using ER services.

        Es La Ley!

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          The first thing I hear from city folk is “hey I get no cell signal here”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Where are you at?

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            I was about 80 miles west of Houston. You know those small towns people like to visit but not live. I’m now living near Sonora CA up in the Sierras and service comes and goes depending on the terrain.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Fred, all that is changing though. Cell towers are a major aspect of the Rural Communications initiative started under GWBush.

            Cell towers are popping up line-of-sight everywhere, even in the wide-open spaces of NM, AZ, TX and NV.

            In CA, I was told that cell towers must have the appearance of natural growth like Palm trees, or Redwoods, or whatever the trees in the area are, if any. They’ve got a really unique one in Hemet CA, looks like a HUGE Lone Palm tree, near Jack-in-the-Box.

            Dead Valley is another thing though. Coming in from the US395 CA side, it is pretty barren, and there are all those nasty cell towers sticking out in the desert like sore d!cks.

            In Utah, along I80, they put a cell tower on top of that tennis ball structure along the Salt Lake.

            Imaginative what they come up with. Near Yuma (I8) they have the cell towers on the top of the surrounding mountains. Pretty neat.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        I think you miss my main point. I don’t have a problem paying for public services. But the reason I don’t want to pay more taxes is that the current taxes aren’t being used for there intended (and some times explicit) purposes. Instead, senator fat cat or congresswoman betternyou spend it on a bridge to nowhere or bike trail in their biggest donors neighborhood. I have lived in 13 states so far. In Washington state I paid low taxes and the roads seemed pretty good. In NY and PA I pay / paid high taxes and the roads stink. Just one example. Your results may vary.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “the reason I don’t want to pay more taxes is that the current taxes aren’t being used for there intended (and some times explicit) purposes.”

          Yup. Welcome to the real world.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          That’s a legit concern, kcflyer, but I’d say it happens because voters aren’t always paying attention to their elected officials are doing.

          And the elected officials tend to also vote their pocketbooks – i.e., the people who are paying them off.

          If we increase voter participation and get rid of the money in politics as much as possible, better voter oversight of spending is far, far easier.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    From the noises he was making during the campaign, I bet Trump’s plan is some kind of public/private financing scheme that basically makes roads and other infrastructure ongoing moneymakers for private industry.

    And if that’s the case, we should all say no. But we will see, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      You must pay for what you want. If people aren’t willing to burn political capital by redirecting spending back to the middle class (where it has historically resided) then we must pay tolls when we drive.

      Texas has become a toll happy state. In some ways it’s frustrating because every time you take to the roads, someone has their hand in your pocket, and the state has a track record of aggressive easement and imminent domain claims. However, the toll roads are also superior to state-funded or federally-funded roads. The toll revenue also generally stays in the community, and if a private company builds a road to nowhere, they get burned, not the taxpayers.

  • avatar
    Fred

    If the stimulus plan goes thru it would be years before the funds are alocated, plans drawn and projects begin. I don’t think this holds much hope for the current auto slump.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah the companies that would be doing the work aren’t going to buy your left over 2017 Tundras in 2019-20 when the project is finally shovel ready. They are going to head to their Ford fleet dealer and order up a bunch of XL trim level trucks, not take loaded up retail models.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Toyota does make a basic RCLB Tundra SR model decked out pretty much the same as a Ford F-150 XL, but they can’t compete on bulk price.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    At this point Trump’s 1 trillion is largely tax breaks to companies which means our highway/road infrastructure fixes will be limited to things that pay back money directly to their owners, i.e. toll roads an toll bridges. The crappy roads and bridges in your communities will continue to crumble.

  • avatar
    Lynn Ellsworth

    Rich people travel in helicopters. Were not going to see any new roads. Trump and the conservative Republicans think anyone who earns less than $1 million a year is trash they hope will die off with their new health bill. Can you imagine any insurance companies dealing with 50 state plans the new health bill advocates?
    And why are we picking on insurance companies? What about hospital conglomerates, multi-million dollar salaries for hospital administrators, high drug prices, outrageous medical equipment costs, no sharing among hospitals – every hospital conglomerate buys every new device?

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